DUMPED deputy Shane Watson has denied he has issues with Australian Cricket captain Michael Clarke but has taken aim at performance boss Pat Howard's criticism of him.
Watson, facing a huge media scrum after an 18-hour journey home to be with his heavily pregnant wife Lee, was particularly upset by suggestions that he was only 'sometimes' a team player.
He said he 'hoped' his Test career was not over, accepted he did the wrong thing by not adhering to the coach's wishes.
Watson said he had spoken with Clarke after getting off the flight and he believed everything was okay between the two.
''I've been playing cricket with and against Michael Clarke since I was 12.
"We've got a lot of history as people.
"We're obviously quite different people in certain ways but very very similar in a lot of ways as well. In the end, like you do in every relationship, it goes up and down and things are going really well at the moment with me and Michael.
"With Pat Howard, he's only come on board the last year and a half. Myself and Michael go a little bit further back than a year and a half.''
Former Queensland captain supports suspension
Meanwhile, former Queensland captain Stuart Law has gone into bat for beleaguered Australia coach Mickey Arthur following the decision to suspend Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja from tomorrow's third Test against India in Mohali.
Law is no stranger to being in the coaching hot seat in the international arena since his retirement from playing in 2009 after accumulating more than 27,000 first-class runs at an average of 50.
He was Sri Lanka's assistant coach in 2009 before he ended up taking charge on an interim basis after head coach Trevor Bayliss left in 2011.
Law later spent nine months coaching Bangladesh before returning home last year to become the high-performance coach at the Cricket Australia Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.
The Queenslander - who took over as Australia's batting coach after Justin Langer stepped down to coach Western Australia, but subsequently returned to the Centre of Excellence - said he had no problem with the punishment handed down to the four players involved.
"If the players didn't conform to what the team wanted, then you have to act on it," said Law, who scored 54 not out in his solitary Test - against Sri Lanka at the WACA in 1995.
"The team comes first at all times ... it's not hard to write down a few things and give them to the coach in what was really a team building exercise, after all.
"It doesn't take a lot of time and effort and they (the players) do have a lot of time on their hands over there.
"As far as I am concerned, if team management tells you to do it, you do it. If you are told to have a bat or bowl in the nets, you don't turn around and say, 'I don't want to do that ... I will wait until the game'."
As for Watson's decision, Law said he hoped it was not the end of the 31-year-old's international career.
"He's a wonderful talent and one of our finest - hopefully spending time at home with his family will give him a chance to refresh and think about what he wants," he said.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.